Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Monday (& Tuesday too!)

In case you've been under a rock, I wanted to make sure to alert all of my favorite people that there is a HUGE sale going on right now at TPT!

This is literally the LAST sale of the year, so it is the perfect time to stock up on all of your winter favorites! My own cart is slam full of clipart and fun activities to keep my kiddos engaged on those cold winter days!

Just make sure that you do these TWO things:

1. Leave feedback on ALL past purchases for even MORE savings with your TPT Credits!
2. Enter the Promo Code: TPTCYBER when you check out! 

My entire store is on sale, along with my newly uploaded Winter Math Bundle!

And just in case I crawl back under my own rock until the holiday season is over, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad, Hanukkah Sameach, & Happy Holidays! :) 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Joke Book Printable

Enjoy this little Halloween Joke Book freebie!! I will be adding this to my fluency center.

Also check out a few of my Halloween fave's from my TPT store. I will be using both of these sets to try and hang on to my sanity on Friday! :)

Here's hoping that your Friday is filled with more treats than tricks!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Songs for Relaxation in the Classroom

This past weekend I shared how I relax in my classroom. I wanted to write a follow up post to share how I get my students to relax!

Every now and then the energy in my classroom is so intense that I feel like I need a rubber mallet to keep whacking the moles back into their holes. 

When this happens I do one of two things: release energy or soothe energy. To release our energy we use one of the dance videos on GoNoodle. 

To soothe our energy we use a variety of songs. I have shown a few of our current favorites below. You want your students to be feel calm but not so relaxed that they will go to sleep. :)

It is important that they hear only the music and not be stimulated by the videos, so turn those projectors off!

Seriously, music is so powerful. You will be amazed at the difference in your students level of focus after taking a few minutes out of your day to listen to music. 

Do you have any favorite songs that you listen to in your classroom?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teacher Tips: How To Relax in Your Classroom

You've probably hopped over here today because you cannot imagine how ANYONE could RELAX in a classroom. My own classroom is a chaotic, messy place where mystery tissues are currently running amuck. 

Most days, despite the chaos, I feel absolutely in control. But other days, I feel like I am spiraling into a black hole with no way out. I'm sure you understand what I mean. 

What I usually do when this happens is work even harder, which stresses me out even more

So, I've developed some coping strategies to help me avoid being sucked into this "black hole." I use these tactics during my planning or lunch time to help me refocus.

The Comfy Chair: 
This is the comfiest chair in my classroom. Some days I set my timer and sit in this chair for 5 minutes. During this time I am NOT allowed to think about school at all. Instead I think about the new shoes I want to buy or how I would organize my dream kitchen. It is really difficult to sit the entire 5 minutes, but it really helps me refocus.

 Coloring Dinos: 
Call me childish, but I LOVE to color. One of the many perks of being a classroom teacher is the virtually endless supply of crayons. Some days during lunch I will take a few minutes to color a picture out of my favorite Dinosaur coloring book. I keep a stash of the best crayons in the class in my desk for this purpose. I usually feel SO much more relaxed and ready to pick up my students. 

Lights Out, Pandora On: 
During my planning and lunch times I always work with the lights out. Sometimes I turn on Pandora on my computer. Depending on my mood I have a few favorite channels: Easy Listening Radio, Classical for Studying, and Jack Johnson Kids. These are all channels that are safe for kids or adults who may happen to walk into your room during this time. 

We only get a few precious moments to ourselves each day. (And some days NONE at all) Sometimes we get so caught up in the magnitude of our responsibilities and we get overwhelmed. Taking this time to reflect each day has really helped me to prioritize and keep my cool.

Do you have any other suggestions for ways to refocus throughout the day? I would love to hear about them in the comments! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Teacher Tips: Save Ink & Save Money!

If your school is anything like mine ink = gold. I am usually SUPER flexible, but if you mess with my ink the claws come out. But as we all know, as the budget runs dry so doth the ink supply. Today I'm going to share with you a super easy tip to save some ink. 

Sometimes you need your students to have an entire sheet of paper to work on, but sometimes you really don't. One trick that I use is to print 2 or 4 pages to one sheet of paper. 

I know every printer works differently, but here is how I use this feature on my EPSON WorkForce 3450.

I use this trick at least once a week in some way. It saves ink AND cuts down on the number of copies I use on my school copy quote. Score x 2. :)

Products included in this post are my Hundreds Board Color By Number Mystery Puzzles for October and my Spin & Graph: Halloween (Bar Graph, Tally Chart, Line Plot & Pie Graph).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Math Printables

Happy Fall Y'all! Enjoy a few free printables to celebrate my favorite season! Click here to grab them for yourself. :) 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Parent Conferences & Johnny Appleseed

Hello, friends! I'm just dropping by to say that I posted some great tips and freebies for Parent/Teacher Conferences this morning at The Primary Chalkboard! Click here or on the image below to see for yourself.

 Also, I have a FLASH FREEBIE going on over at my TPT store, just in time for Johnny Appleseed's birthday. Click on the image below to download FREE for this weekend only. (9/13 - 9/14). :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Primary Chalkboard YouTube Party!

Friends! I am SERIOUSLY excited (and a little bit nervous) about this post. 

You see, my blogging friends and I at the Primary Chalkboard wanted to do something BIG for back to school for you. BIG I'm talking, BIG. We decided to throw a party. Here is a hint. YES. It is a YouTube Partaaaaay! We are here sharing lots of tips -- organizational, DIY, helpful ideas-- lots of things you can do RIGHT NOW to make your back to school a little easier! AND. 

We are having a huge giveaway! Would anyone like a.... $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Card or A fabulous Michael Kors bag (you know, the one you want but can't justify spending the money for)? I thought so. 

So what do you need to do? Did you see that? You can EVEN gain EXTRA entries in the giveaway by watching our videos and entering our SECRET WORDS into the Rafflecopter (but I know you were going to do that anyway, so... 2 birds, 1 stone). 

We will be linking up 5 new videos every day this week... so you can come back, watch, and enter every day! 

Click on the image below to check out my video and see how you can easily fancy up your hallway. :)

And don't forget to head over to the Primary Chalkboard to watch more tip clips and gain more entries to the giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Peek at My Week: Dinos, Math Stations, & Good Citizens

I'm excited to share with you a small glimpse into my daily life as a second grade teacher. This year I am teaching all 2nd grade subjects and it has been a HUGE adjustment from just teaching math all day last year!
I wanted to share with you a sneak peek at my daily schedule. I am trying something different this year and I am extending math, writing, & reading throughout the week and teaching Science/Social Studies pretty much all day on Friday. I absolutely LOVE it! 

This week in reading we are reviewing skills I've already taught including story elements, visualization and context clues. We are also digging deeper into understanding characters. I usually do not teach the unit on Tomie dePaola this early on, but this year I purchased Linda Kamp's unit and I just couldn't wait to use it! 

(And YES, this says Week 6. Some of you are going back to school today and I have already sent home mid-quarter progress reports. You can read more my schedule, here.)

In writing we have been working hard on small moments stories during Writer's Workshop. But, most of my students are partner writing during daily 5 as well and most of those stories are imaginative narratives. I thought that I would use some imaginative dino stories this week to hone in on some skills that we can all improve on in both types of narratives!

In Math I am focusing on individual student needs and I'm starting my strategy groups. Daily 5 Reading has been up and running for a few weeks now so I'm hoping that Math Stations will be ready to take off on Monday. We have been hitting basic facts hard and are now half way through story problems. I'm only sharing my Math Stations because my Strategy group lessons will be differentiated based on student needs.

Last, but not least, this week we are taking our Life Cycles Unit test and starting our unit on Good Citizenship. I have mentioned this already in this post, but I ADORE having all day to teach Science/Social Studies on Fridays. I love coming to work on Fridays even more! Also, some concepts are less involved than others so this gives me extra time to review other tricky concepts in Math or ELA.

You can view my lesson plans in a PDF with clickable links by clicking here.

Peek at some more weekly lesson plans over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten or link yourself up!

If you have any questions about my weekly schedule please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TPT Back to School SALE!!!!

I'm SO excited to share with you that the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale begins TOMORROW!!!!!!

This is a great opportunity to clear out your wishlist and empty those shopping carts! Today I'm sharing some products from my store that I'm really excited about! :)

Be sure to enter the promo code BTS14 when you check out tomorrow! Happy Shopping! :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Educents: Back to School Blow Out Sale


 I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year! Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

I am teaming back up with some awesome friends in grades 2-3 with some of our favorite products. 

I am contributing my Take Home Math Kits!!

You can click on here or any of the images in this post to see all of the units that are included. :)

School Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 2-3) - 74% OFF


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

True Life Confessions: My Classroom Isn't Cute

I've gone back to school, this is week three. Last Friday, my good friend, Jen Sykes, brought me lunch and played photographer while my kiddos were working on drawing  and labeling ant tunnels. 

I've decided to share a few candid shots of my classroom in hopes that those of you who, like me, did not inherit the "decorator" gene will feel more comfortable in blogland and, maybe, in in the world in general. My classroom is a real place, where we seriously "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy." (Thanks, Ms. Frizzle). Take a peek, and enjoy my commentary. 
My favorite part about this picture are my "curtains." They are made of yellow construction paper. They are new because the construction paper used to be purple. But, as it was 5 years old, it was quite faded. I would just take them down altogether, but the students at table 4 are always BLINDED by the light. My students seriously enjoy the yellow "glow" they create in the morning.

AND, As if being a second grader isn't already confusing enough, I have not one but TWO teacher desks. When I tell my students to put something "on my desk" pandomonium ensues. 

. . . Also, the table labeled my "Back" table is actually now a "Side" table, I moved it this year but haven't renamed it. 

I have two favorites here, one is my "Daily Schedule" which, at this time, consists of two post-it notes. The other is the box with the broken pencil sharpener. Until Jen took these photos I didn't even realize that it was still on my desk, 4 months later. 

So there you are, my crazy classroom in all its glory. And, as you are getting into the back to school cuteness frenzy, try not to be so hard on yourself. It's not what is hanging on your walls that matters, it is all in the planning and delivery. :)

P.S. If you were kid counting in the first photo, I wasn't blessed with a class of 12, there are 24 students in all as 3 tables are not pictured. :)


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ahoy! June's Mystery Box Has Arrived!

It is that time again! Our June semi-mystery box is ready to set sail! The summer season has officially arrived and we are celebrating with some nautical awesomeness. Can I get an "Aye Aye, Captain?"

I know what you're thinking, there is nothing we could give you that could top the satisfaction of spending months away from your gnarly underaged crew! 

That is where you are wrong our friends, think about how your summer could improve if you only had this AWESOME new beach bag from Ooh Baby Designs??

No beach time in your near future? No worries! This bag would also be great for hauling your library books, your rock collection, or your WWE wrestling belt.

Our grand prize winner will receive the bag pictured above from Ooh Baby Designs, AND a MYSTERY box full of summer time goodies, AND . . . a shopping spree in each of our stores. 

Click on any certificate below to visit their TPT store ands scope out your potential choices!

We will also be giving terrific prizes to TWO runner ups! Two lucky teacher friends will receive the digital products pictured below in their digital inbox!

Last month's GRAND prize winner won a $200 Tieks gift card! We also gave away two $100 gift cards! 

To see what was included in previous prizes click, here, here, here, here

Simply complete three easy steps to enter the June Mystery Box Giveaway!

1. Follow
2. Comment
3. Rafflecopter

This month's comment question:

Feel free to copy and paste your answer to this month's question in the comment section on each blog. There is no need to retype every time. Please follow each blog while you are hopping through.

While your clicking through the rafflecopter, be sure to "Like" this month's sponsor, Ooh Baby Designs, on facebook!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We apologize to our friends from around the globe, but this contest is for US residents only, please.

Nautical graphics in this post were purchased from Little Llama Shoppe. Teacher clipart images in this post were designed by Melonheadz Illustrating.
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